Escalating Number of Serious Dog Bite Injuries
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Did you know that the number of serious dog bites in California has been increasing over the years? Because the bite injury itself isn’t the only thing to be careful of, learning more about the dangers of dog bites is important.
California Dog Bites on the Rise
According to a 2016 report by the California Office of Statewide Planning and Development, visits to the emergency room caused by dog bites that were severe rose by 44 percent over the past 10 years. The numbers showed an increase in dog bites of adults from 2005 to 2015. The numbers for bites affecting children were not represented in the study. California dog bite law states that an owner is responsible for the behavior of his or her animal whether on public or private property. If a dog bites and injures someone, the owner is responsible unless the individual provoked the dog or was a trespasser on the property.
Statute of Limitations
Because an injury caused by a dog is considered a personal injury, the statute of limitations in which to file a claim is two years. If an injured person does not file before the two years expires, the case will probably be dismissed by the court. The statute of limitations may be extended in the event the injured person is a child. However, speaking with an attorney experienced in handling dog bite claims is important to ensure the case will be heard and filed in a timely manner.
What Are Some of the Diseases Passed Through a Dog Bite?
- Rabies: Symptoms of rabies may not appear for a few months. Starting with achiness and fever, the symptoms expand to include confusion, problems swallowing, vomiting, headache, hallucination and fear of water. Rabies is generally fatal unless the individual who was bitten is given rabies shots.
- Staphylococcus and Streptococcus: Infection with either bacteria can transmit a number of diseases, including MRSA, which is resistant to antibiotic treatment. An untreated infection may lead to bacteremia, which is a type of blood poisoning.
- Pasteurella: Pasteurella is a bacteria that can result in cellulitis. It causes swelling in the affected part as well as tenderness, pain and warmth. With complications, the infection can spread to the bloodstream or other tissues in the body. Capnocytophaga is a common bacteria that lives in a dog’s mouth and is the main disease associated with infections due to dog bites. It can cause endocarditis, septicemia, meningitis and occasionally ocular infections. The fatality ratio in a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health was 33 percent.
- E. coli: Many people have heard of this type of bacteria because of its association with food poisoning. However, E. Coli can also be transmitted through a dog bite.
- C. canimorsus: This disease is rarely transmitted to humans even though 75 percent of dogs carry this bacteria in their mouths. It can be life-threatening when transmitted to humans by causing major illnesses such as blood poisoning, meningitis, shock or respiratory distress.
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Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Dog bites are frightening and compounded by the injuries they can cause. If you have been bitten or a family member has, call (916) 921-6400 for my free, friendly advice. Outside the calling zone, phone (800) 404-5400, or use our convenient online contact form.
Since 1982, I have been an injury lawyer in Northern California, including Sacramento. I’m honored to have obtained fair compensation for those who have suffered personal injuries such as brain injuries and those who lost a loved one through wrongful death.
Verdicts and Settlements, located on my site, contains a list of of our cases and their positive results.
As a Million Dollar Advocate, I have demonstrated settlements or verdicts for clients of one million dollars for their personal injuries.
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